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I hear the word “authentic” an awful lot these days but does anyone who’s using this word know its true meaning? They clone themselves impersonating someone who's actually authentic. The only thing I can relate this to is my love, no... my obsession with real maple syrup. It comes out of a tree. I mean is there anything more authentic than that?

In my family, if the establishment doesn’t have real maple syrup, you order something else on the menu... or leave immediately. My mom transported a bottle of it around to breakfast places for a year because one waitress made the error of saying they had real maple syrup. This poor lady brought out Aunt Jemima, and if you don’t know what the big deal is, you’re part of the problem.

My cousin, Kathleen gave out real maple syrup as gifts for the guests at her wedding. Several of my family members (myself included) stashed the tiny glass bottles in purses and bags. Clinking down the street, we sounded like a band of homeless people cashing in bottles for our next pack of cigarettes. Later, my other cousin, Marie hosted chugging contests at the bar with the swiped syrup from the wedding. People desiring to be authentic would die for this type of religious following.

I’m so loyal to real maple syrup I almost broke up with someone for scoffing when I myself told a waitress these charlatan syrups were not good enough for blueberry pancakes. I should have dumped him right then and there because, in the words of Cheryl Lynn, it’s “got to be real.” I would never put something so fraudulent on my beloved breakfast dessert. Who, in their right mind, wants the imitation of something authentic? Now that would have been a great title for my failed relationship with Mr. Butterworth-less.

Allow me to lay down the truth of being authentic. Maple syrup has many impostors trying to pass as the real deal. It blows my mind that people prefer picking up a bottle of Vermont Maid when it isn’t even Vermont made. It’s manufactured by some chemist in New Jersey named Phil, it’s two percent pure maple syrup, and even Phil will tell you, “this isn’t even close to being authentic.” So let’s face it, if you’re trying to be authentic, you aren’t. You’re only two percent real, and therefore one hundred percent fake.

Got to be real.: Project
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